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EFSA calls for data on selenium and chromium


Selenium and chromium occur naturally in the environment. Chromium is found in nature mostly in the trivalent form while hexavalent chromium is mostly of industrial origin. Chromium (III)  is often considered an important factor in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins while chromium (VI) is cancerogen. Selenium, an antioxidant, is a micronutrient that is necessary for cellular function, yet it's toxic in large amounts.

Animals may be supplemented in feed with these two elements. While selenium is already authorised in the EU as inorganic (sodium selenate and sodium selenite) or organic (selenium-enriched yeast) forms, chromium is not yet authorised within the Community.

History of the call:
In 2006, the EFSA adopted an opinion on the safety and efficacy of the product 'Sel-Plex 2000' as a feed additive. This opinion concluded that the selenium exposure for young children consuming products of animals supplemented with this additive would be slightly above the threshold identified. Therefore, gathering of additional recent consumption data will be of value when refining the exposure assessment.
Regarding chromium, the EFSA is currently evaluating a dossier aiming to investigate the authorisation of chromium-methionine as a feed additive. Recent data on exposure to chromium in food and beverages would be needed for the assessment of chromium as a feed additive.

The actual call:
The aim of this call is to collect data on the Se and Cr content in food and beverages. The analytical method used and, if possible, information on the validation of the method, should be reported. If available, the number of samples analysed, and/or the number of replicated measures of the same sample for each value should also be reported.

Where possible the data for selenium should indicate if the origin of the selenium was inorganic or organic and any available data on selenium content in multivitamin and mineral food supplements should also be reported.

For chromium, the data should distinguish between the two most important occurring oxidation forms of chromium: Cr (III) and Cr (VI), and its origin (ie inorganic/organic).

Again, if possible, EFSA asks that the chromium content of multivitamin and mineral food supplement is also reported.

The occurrence data on Se and Cr should be transmitted to EFSA in electronic format using the MS Excel® tables annexed to this call for data (data.xls).

A detailed description of the information requested is presented in the file “Datex_cfd_Cr and Se_en.pdf”. An example of data transmission is available in the document data-example.xls.

The deadline for submissions is 30 November 2008. Member State data submissions should be sent to this e-mail address: contaminants@efsa.europa.eu

Related document

EFSA, April 1, 2009: Safety and efficacy of chromium methionine (Availa®Cr) as feed additive for all species

Source: EFSA

Related EVISA Resources

Link Database: Chromium species and human health/nutrition/metabolism

Related EVISA News (newest first)

November 23, 2004: Chromium (III) - not only therapeutic?

last time modified: June 27, 2020


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